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  • "Fees" Are Taxes and New Taxes Are Not the Answer

    According to a New York Times story on Sunday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) plans to propose a new “fee” on insurance companies to help pay for a costly liberal health reform package. This “fee” would allow Congress to penalize their straw man du jour, insurance companies, while attempting to pay for part of one of the trillion dollar proposals being debated in Congress this week. However, these “fees” are nothing more than taxes hidden behind a thin veil of “fairness” rhetoric. They would actually fall on ordinary Americans, not insurance executives or stockholders.

    The idea of hiding a tax on families as a penalty on greedy insurers is not new. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) proposed this idea earlier this year, as did Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator John D. Rockefeller (D-WV). Not exactly a moderate gang of four. Senator Schumer said the health insurance companies should “pay their fair share” and Senator Rockefeller accused insurance companies of “…rapaciously, greedily and unstoppably making money…” So does this idea have merit? No. A few liberal Senators attempting to redistribute corporate wealth to fit their idea of “fairness” in reality means more regressive taxes passed down to you the consumer.

    To understand why think about this. When you buy something that is subject to a sales tax who pays the tax – you or the vendor? If you need a clue just look at the line “sales tax” on your bill. And if you tax insurance companies the cost is passed through in the same way. Under the proposal, the regressive tax would simply be attached to the costs of more expensive health care plans. Now the most expensive plans are typically found in workplaces that are either unionized or have an older workforce. When health care companies are penalized for providing these superior products, the simple solution to their bottom line is to pass those costs along in the form of increased premiums. So the end result is one insured group of workers paying to lower the costs of another group of insured workers. And who gets to decide who wins and who loses? Senators Kerry, Schumer, Stabenow and Rockefeller to name four.

    Is there a better solution? Of course. Rather than this kind of hidden tax to resuscitate the mammoth congressional bill, it’s time to scrap it, take a fresh sheet of paper and start again to craft a reform bill that could garner wide bipartisan support. That sheet of paper would have three main steps written on it — steps we have proposed for years with broad support on both sides of the aisle:

    1) Instead of trying to rewrite the health economy, which is larger than the economy of Britain, in one gigantic bill, we should do it in stages, making sure each stage works before going to the next.

    2) Let’s start, as we did with welfare reform, by giving states far more freedom to reach the goals of reform. Give them legislative waivers from federal rules and programs to work with insurers to figure ways to widening coverage, and freedom to reorganize existing federal and state programs, like Medicaid, to improve coverage at less cost. States could try competing approaches and we could see which approaches actually work. There are already bipartisan bills we helped to craft that could the basis for legislation.

    3) Let’s also reform the tax treatment of health care to target tax breaks on those taxpayers who need help the most, such as those without employer-sponsored plans and also those who cannot afford employer-offered coverage for their families or themselves. Budget-neutral and tax-revenue neutral reform of this kind has long had bipartisan support.

    Rather than adding trillions more to the national debt and hiring an army of czars and commissions, let’s take incremental steps that are achievable and can provide immediate relief to all working families. New taxes – explicit or hidden as “insurance fees” – are not the solution.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to "Fees" Are Taxes and New Taxes Are Not the Answer

    1. Clayton Reed, Austin says:

      This is such a rational approach why is it that no one in Congress is willing to bring this forward? Where are the Conservatives in bringing such a bill to the forefront? I understand the committee politics but we have to raise our voice and thankfully the Heritage Foundation continues to lead in that regard. While it is not an enviable position to be the minority party, it does not mean we have to be mute.

    2. Bobbie Jay says:

      More reasonable and sound advice with a solution. Ignorant government will not acknowledge and either will media bias.

      Insurance companies are a private business. Kind of like Heinz Ketchup. Both provide by freedom of choice of the consumer. Government's job to both these industries is to sight any corruption posed on the consumer. The government admits failure to this duty by pointing fingers at the insurance co. as they create corruption and call it a crisis.

      Under freedom and independence, the government should be commending private industries and personal achievement by doing their job of oversight for the people. Instead, they pick and choose areas essential to FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENCE, to rob from us and fulfill their agenda.

    3. Pingback: “Fees” Are Taxes and New Taxes Are Not the Answer « Prayer, News & Action

    4. Gary Gonsalves, Carl says:

      The Stop Taxing Us group in Southern California just rallied 3000 people in Oceanside to discuss healthcare reform and other issues. Check this group out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Carlsbad-

    5. bill, baltimore says:

      This is such a rational approach why is it that no one in Congress is willing to bring this forward?

      because it is a rational approach, duhhh.

    6. GringoBob in La Tigr says:

      Obama is a typical marxist radical who must destroy our capitalist system and Constitution but not a clue what to replace it with or how to make it work – Congress would be wise to put a big "NO" on everything this clown pushes until he shows us a plan of what to do with the Gitmo terrorists and how to bring them to justice – it will be the same if we let him steal healthcare or "global warming" – go away Obama

      GringoBob in the republic of Costa Rica – remember those days ?

      Glenn Beck – Fox news channel – Monday thru Friday – 5:00 pm EST

      here is the Voting matrix = http://Group912.org

      help stop the EPA = http://StopEPA.com

    7. Albert campbellsvill says:

      Pay their fair share,oh like charlie rangle.Did you ever notice that when a gov official gets in trouble for not paying taxes it is usually a liberal.Keep telling people that taxes on business is a tax on them.

    8. Charles, The Republi says:

      We have raised our voices & it seems again that we will be ignored. At some point in the near future this is going to get real ugly. Lamar Alexander is right to point out that there may be a mini American revolution if this is forced fed either directly or by "trigger". You can't expect rational behaviour from a group of power-drunk individuals who see their "holy grail" almost within their grasp. Their blatant disregard for the "will of We the People" can only go so far. None of this is Constitutional. Those who live by the crisis, just maybe consumed by the crisis.

    9. Paul, The great stat says:

      We have one failed ponzi scheme after another in our federal government fondly known as entitlements. All given to us by those who, "know what is best for us".

      In addition to this, a huge amount of dollars (and another ponzi scheme) for health care, unchecked, with the same type of regulation and oversight given Fred and Fanny by the elite liberals and the cave in Republicans will be the undoing of the ignorant as well as the diligent and the end of freedom as we know it.

    10. Pingback: Baucus Bonanza – Blog Watch

    11. Pingback: Rebellion News

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